Suffolk County police Homicide Squad detectives are investigating whether the brutal slaying of three people inside a parked SUV in Wyandanch late Wednesday night was gang related.
The gunman remains still at large and police have yet to publicly name a suspect.
The triple-homicide victims were identified Thursday as 25-year-old William Madrey of Wyandanch, 23-year-old Stephanie Almedina Rivera of Bay Shore, and 23-year-old Ciara Smith of Deer Park. A fourth female injured in the shooting was not named.
Police said in a news release Thursday that Madrey “is a previously self-admitted gang member.”
Det. Lt. Kevin Beyer, chief of Suffolk police’s Homicide Squad, said in a phone interview that Madrey had previously been affiliated with an off-shoot of the Bloods gang. Investigators would be digging into the past of all the victims, he added.
“We’re not narrowing it to anything,” Beyer said. “There’s the potential it’s a gang incident.”
Family members of one of the victims disputed police accounts that Madrey was once a gang member, according to Newsday.
The fatal shooting occurred just before midnight on Davidson Street, police said. It appeared that the shooter walked up to the vehicle and fired multiple shots.
All four victims were sitting inside the SUV at the time of the shooting, Beyer said.
First Precinct officers responded to 911 calls reporting gunfire and found the four shooting victims in the SUV. Madrey, Rivera, and Smith were pronounced dead at the scene, police said.
The surviving victim’s gunshot wounds were not considered life threatening, according to police.
Beyer did not know how many shots had been fired but he did say that autopsies and an analysis of the SUV would help determine the total.
As for the suspect, Beyer said investigators have yet to identify who was involved.
“Right now the information we have: it’s a male,” the homicide chief added.
Police are currently working under the suspicion that only one suspect was involved in the slayings.
Police are asking anyone with information about the homicides to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-220-TIPS. Crime Stoppers is offering a $3,000 reward for information that leads to the arrest of the shooter.